Skip to main content

Reply to this post | Go Back
View Post [edit]

Poster: SomeDarkHollow Date: Jul 21, 2007 1:55pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: What makes a good Jam Band?

What is a "Jam Band"? Why is one better than the other? How do you judge?
Is it length of jam?
Is it number of jams per song?
Is it number of people jamming?
Is it how they jam?
Is it what they wear when they jam?
Is it where they go just before they start jamming and maybe go back to when they are done and everyone has gone home, leaving a lot of nasty garbage behind for some poor dude making $5 an hour to clean up?

What is it? For me, its quite simple: does the jam make me care? All too many bands out there with the lable "Jam Band", while obviously talented, just leave me flat with the jams. You could turn most of them off in mid jam and I wouldn't bat an eyelash. If its a good band, the jam WILL make me care, get me involved emotionally to the point where if something unexpected interrupts it, I am physically jolted (ie. see Donna and Playin' Jam Buzz Kill....hey, that's a good name for a thrash metal band). A band in the groove will make you forget where you are, what you're doing, what time it is, etc. Our boys and a select few others have the ability to create jams that take you somewhere wonderful and then escort you home gently. Too many bands just seem to be jamming because that's what they are supposed to do, not because its something they feel. If the band can't convince me that they are playing from their soul, I can't get that involved. Please don't shoot me, but one of the bigger bands recently, Phish, always left me flat. Trey is an amazingly talented musician and produced some pretty stuff, but he never grabbed me by the cojones and took me on a journey into neverland (feel free to insert Micheal Jackson joke here); he painted some pretty pictures, sure, but no Mona Lisa. When I try to count how many musicians do grab me to the same extent Jerry does, its a small number indeed. Carlos, Metheny, Kimock, Gilmour, Miles, Bird are some who just oooze emotion with their playing and take me on some wonderful journeys, no matter how many times I may have listened to a particular track (Santana's "Song of the Wind" is a perfect example of this, I've listened to the studio track over and over, each time getting hit the same way).
Each of us may answer these questions a different way, and that's how it should be, since judging one band better than another is entirely subjective. How one musician hits me may be entirely different from how he hits you.
Just remember, GOP, I'm right and you're wrong. The sooner you accept that, the sooner we can get this thing moving along.

This post was modified by SomeDarkHollow on 2007-07-21 20:55:02

Reply to this post
Reply [edit]

Poster: nagdot Date: Jul 21, 2007 2:27pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: What makes a good Jam Band?

check out some old black sabbath esp the first record its all jammin id consider them a jam band also led zeppelin.i might even add iron maiden due to the theme of writing that makes you think of wat they are tryin to say.

This post was modified by nagdot on 2007-07-21 21:27:03

Reply to this post
Reply [edit]

Poster: jglynn1.2 Date: Jul 21, 2007 2:34pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: What makes a good Jam Band?

I saw Johnny Winter a number of times and while not ever really classified as a 'jam' band I have to admit that he and his bass and drummer did in fact lay down some really good jams . . . never could keep my feet still at a Johnny Winter show. I recall him usually opening with a pretty intense instrumental jam at shows

Reply to this post
Reply [edit]

Poster: nagdot Date: Jul 21, 2007 2:49pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: What makes a good Jam Band?

i saw johnny front row 2 times in 2 different decades.one was a hells angels party in ny, talk about a wild time.the other was an amazing show in a gutted movie theatre awesome sounds for sure. some of that show made one of his live releases.

Reply to this post
Reply [edit]

Poster: jglynn1.2 Date: Jul 21, 2007 2:58pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: What makes a good Jam Band?

Speaking of jam bands I guess Neil Young and Crazy Horse make the cut - never saw them live but did see clips from the movie on IFC - saw Neil Young when he did solo tour electric acoustic, I think it was the tour after release of Tron? Album. Neil has definitely produced some soulfull jams

Reply to this post
Reply [edit]

Poster: ghostofpig Date: Jul 21, 2007 2:23pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Okay, seriously

A great jam band is one where the whole is greater than the sum of its parts. In the best jam bands, though, those parts are pretty damn good. That's why I like certain types of jazz. Take the great Coltrane quartets/quintets: each musician was a master musician: McCoy Tyner is one of the most gifted and original pianists ever to grace this planet. Jimmy Garrison and Reggie Workman are steller bassists. Elvin Jones--whew!
Starting with a theme--say My Favorite Things--Trane would fly on the backs of the other three, solo into new spaces, and then give each other musician his due--especially McCoy.

The musicians of the 70s--the "avant guard" players from the Chicago/St. Louis schools (the A.A.C.M. and B.A.G.) were so full of improvisational glory that you'd wonder if they knew any songs. But when they did play standards or their own thematic compositions--look out!

Music should challenge the mind and the soul. It should spark the electricity that runs the brain and make your soul want to dance.

You can take four or five great musicians and put them in the same room, but if they cannot see into one another--no dice. Practice, rehearsal--it doesn't matter if they don't connect. Going back to Fall of 1971, what luck to find Keith--or be found by him. They could have stuck Howard Wales or Ned Lagin or someone else in the keyboard chair--but it wouldn't have been as great as Keith. That man was destined to be a member of the G.D.

Some bands that lose a seminal member never recover--or turn into something else (e.g. Pink Floyd or Fleetwood Mac). Some are lucky--like the Allman Brothers. Lighting in a bottle--that's what it takes, and that is a rare thing, indeedee.

Reply to this post
Reply [edit]

Poster: jglynn1.2 Date: Jul 21, 2007 2:38pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Okay, seriously

Yes - I'm thinking I might have to go see Allman Bros and Ratdog at Jones Beach in Aug.

Reply to this post
Reply [edit]

Poster: nagdot Date: Jul 21, 2007 4:06pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Okay, seriously

the peter green yrs of fleetwood mac certainly did jam. 20 to 30 min rattlesnake shake 15 min green manalishi mmmm mmm good stuff.supertramp had some good jammin tunes .early j geils band was blues jammin

Reply to this post
Reply [edit]

Poster: William Tell Date: Jul 21, 2007 7:39pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Okay, seriously

Agreed on Green F Mac.

Great call.

Reply to this post
Reply [edit]

Poster: JamminJerome Date: Jul 21, 2007 3:27pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Okay, seriously

what he said

Reply to this post
Reply [edit]

Poster: He Live's Date: Jul 21, 2007 7:56pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: What makes a good Jam Band?

with all that went on in the post GOP YEARS, 77 and on with "disco dead" and then the shiddy MIDI and the blatant attempts at pop crossover

The Grateful goddamn Dead

were a folk rock/roots/beatnik turned psychedelic band of brothers. they were an organic manifestation of unique time and place. i do not belive there was anything about the The Grateful goddamn Dead that was in any way "convoluted," nothing of significance. the existence of The Grateful goddamn Dead evolved of it's own accord with the only reason for their existence being the tribal assemblage. why? because it lead to transcendent places and it was REALLLLLLY fucking fun to get a bunch of people together and raise the energy level.

The Grateful goddamn Dead.....do not belong in a discussion about the repulsive, meandering, convoluted, glory seeking jam banders...many of these people have made themselves a career. stringycheesey and i guess moe.ron. the lesser known ones are actually WORSE. anyone openly traversing this territory does not merit attention. just go to your local bluegrass jam...i guarantee it is more fun and less pretentious junk/boring waste of time....

we love the The Grateful goddamn Dead because they had soul, and the jambanders bore us because they dont have a drop


(and please dont be a moe.ron and confuse enthusiasm or "passion" for soul - no no-soul little twit is doing what they did with viola lee, or lovelight, or cumberland or not fade, or dancin...take your pick -- none of the souless jambanders could pull off anything remotely close to this in contemporary terms. that kid that cries on stage doesnt count. i havent really checked out devendra banhardt or any of those other "new psychedlic" clowns either -- but they are in no way jambanders -- theyz artists -- and The Grateful goddamn Dead wasnt no artists -- they just had soul)


-- reformed PHISHEAD, 90-94

Reply to this post
Reply [edit]

Poster: skuzzlebutt Date: Jul 21, 2007 7:47pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: What makes a good Jam Band?

MOst of the jamming that impresses me comes from the classic jazz masters. The Allmans and the Dead are about the only so-called "jam bands" that do anything for me. Phish, String Cheese, etc., put me to sleep. It's not that they're not talented, they're just boring.

Reply to this post
Reply [edit]

Poster: William Tell Date: Jul 21, 2007 5:06pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: What makes a good Jam Band?

Though I love the boys, THE greatest jam band was CREAM. Ginger Baker is THE greatest drummer, and Bruce is one of the top five bassists. I don't even consider Clapton in the equation, but he ain't chopped liver. Bass and drums make the jam band, I think most purists would argue. Though the boys had two drummers, Baker could not be surpassed. Even the boys, Hart (who knows drumming) in particular, agreed. So I am not saying anything novel.

Comments?

Reply to this post
Reply [edit]

Poster: nagdot Date: Jul 21, 2007 5:27pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: What makes a good Jam Band?

sweet on drums and bass makin a jamband. that makes iron maiden a jam band. steve harris plays bass like a lead guitarist and nicko mcbrain can rough up the skins as any other. oh yea i almost forgot cream is totally kick ass.

This post was modified by nagdot on 2007-07-22 00:27:50

Reply to this post
Reply [edit]

Poster: rosey842 Date: Jul 22, 2007 7:35pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: What makes a good Jam Band?

I can't say I necessarily agree with you that Maiden is a jam band, but nice to see them get some props. When I hooked up to Itunes some of the first albums I downloaded were the old Maiden. Truly melodic music that can't be beat.

Reply to this post
Reply [edit]

Poster: direwolf0701 Date: Jul 21, 2007 5:30pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: What makes a good Jam Band?

fuck that blowjob heavy metal - "please fill my mouth i so want the taste" crap


Kimock rules and so does Garaj Mahal

Reply to this post
Reply [edit]

Poster: nagdot Date: Jul 21, 2007 5:43pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: What makes a good Jam Band?

dire rumor is kimock will join iron maiden woohoo lol j/k

This post was modified by nagdot on 2007-07-22 00:43:18

Reply to this post
Reply [edit]

Poster: BryanE Date: Jul 21, 2007 6:29pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: What makes a good Jam Band?

I've never seen anything operating under the umbrella of "jam band" that has really knocked my socks off, but then again, I haven't seen that much. I thought the String Cheese Incident set following Ratdog last summer was, no doubt, really quite good-bright, vibrant, and joyous-but I didn't leave that night a newly converted Cheesehead, either. Even more than that, though, I wouldn't necessarily qualify what they did as what I think Webster's would define as jamming, as such. When I think jam, so to speak, I think improvisation. And while there was loads of on-the-spot, in-the-moment soloing going on at that show, overall their music sounded to me as being pretty tightly composed and rehearsed. Not a thing wrong with that, mind you, but it seems fairly well removed from, say, what The Grateful Dead's stock in trade was. Also, I was almost completely unfamiliar with their music, too, so in the final analysis, all I can really say about the experience is that I thought they were a very good band and I was righteously impressed with what they did.

Another big-name "jam band," moe., bored the living shit out of me when I saw them.

Any reggae band worth its salt does the trick, though.

Ghost makes note of some jazz, and I have to agree that it really is the industry standard by which everything before and since is defined. My preference goes back to bebop, actually. Diz and Bird can really get me going. But you probably won't ever see me change stations when a Sonny Rollins cut comes on, either.

Some of my favorite music is straightforward rock when it's played with high energy and the players are giving 110%. The result is that the music turns into a jam, but of a different variety. It's not really about improvisation, or even soloing, for that matter, but rather the intensity of the performance. And I'm not talking metal or anything thrashy, because I don't generally care for that style. I used the phrase straightforward rock, and I don't know how else to describe what I'm talking about. One of the absolute best I've ever seen who comes to mind is Gregg's son, Devon Allman: a relentlessly energetic and intense performer whom I recommend without qualification. The fucker just JAMS!

Reply to this post
Reply [edit]

Poster: northstar dead Date: Jul 22, 2007 9:01am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: What makes a good Jam Band?

YES had some great early seventies stoner jams.

Reply to this post
Reply [edit]

Poster: ghostofpig Date: Jul 21, 2007 2:13pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: What makes a good Jam Band?

A good jam band goes well with a good peanut butter band.

Nerd.

Reply to this post
Reply [edit]

Poster: jglynn1.2 Date: Jul 21, 2007 2:31pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: What makes a good Jam Band?

Especially inbetween some sourdough bread bands

Reply to this post
Reply [edit]

Poster: direwolf0701 Date: Jul 21, 2007 4:36pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: What makes a good Jam Band?

i am alrgic to peanut butter

Reply to this post
Reply [edit]

Poster: Lou Davenport Date: Jul 21, 2007 4:33pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: What makes a good Jam Band?

LOL. Thank you.